Sep 12, 2011

PROFILE | Noguchi Rika

Noguchi Rika, Marabu #6 C- print/50x 75cm 2007
Artist Noguchi Rika has a way of capturing light and taking photographs. She captures not only something that is visually beautiful but holds something more than what meets the eye. She caught my attention with the simplicity of her photos and the appearance of a deeper significance. Japanese born Noguchi graduated with her BFA in photography from Nihon University in Tokyo Japan. She currently lives in Germany and has been presenting in art exhibits internationally since 1995. 

A prominent figure in the art world for more than twenty years now her photos are mostly
environmental pictures in an exceptionally pure form; she is known for not using manipulation
in her photographs. She is acclaimed for her atmospheric and somewhat mysterious
photographs that capture an unreachable moment in time. She is most commonly known for
taking pictures of light and space using a pinhole camera. This style of photography gives the effect of outer space or an unrealistic demeanor to its subject.

In Noguchi’s Marubu #6, as seen above, she photographs nature and captures a moment that almost appears unrealistic. Her method of photography demands a certain amount of patients that require her to remain located in the same area for great lengths of time. Noguchi uses the pinhole camera, the pinhole camera is a camera without a lens that is normally used to capture the movement of the sun over long periods of time. Noguchi use’s this type of camera because she say’s that she wants to feel like she’s taking the picture and that she’s more involved. Her subject, the marabou stork, is a large-scale bird that she became fascinated with while visiting the Berlin Zoo. On the surface the Marabou appears to be in its natural habitat, in truth though, the bird is in the zoo. While observing this picture the feeling of vulnerability creates suspense for what is lurking behind its serene surroundings and captivates the viewer. There is something beautifully unsettling about Noguchi’s Marabou #6, and that is normally the theme
 Noguchi Rika, I Dreamt of Flying 2 #6 2004

The exhibit, I dreamt of flying, depicts the fascination that Noguchi has with outer space. This exhibit gives the feeling of being lost in space. I Dreamt of Flying 2 #6, transports you to another world a world detached from our own, leaving the viewer in a dream like state, lost in time.  While looking at the series of photographs she takes the viewer on an adventure through her own perspective. Her gallery exhibit’s have a very interesting presentation in an all black gallery she illuminates her work by spotlighting the photos keeping them the focus. This concept works very well because the majority of the photos are very bright in theme. This type of presentation gives a dramatic effect which definitely is an attention grabber.

Noguchi’s work has often been seen as pure and hauntingly romantic, almost as if it is from a fairytale. In Noguchi’s works it is obvious that she has a talent for using subjects that are not conventionally beautiful and translating them into mesmerizing photographs. I chose this artist base on a powerful connection I had to her photographs. Although I do see the attractiveness of Noguchi’s photos, I'm not convinced of her emotional connection behind them. In an interview of her, she talks about how she just happened into this profession; it was not something that she was passionate about but she just happened to be good at it. From this interview I learned how she felt about her work making me feel misled. I found myself wondering how could her photos give me the feeling of emotional depth but in reality have none at all; or does art have to have any meaning at all to the artist? Despite my views of her, I still feel a strong connection to her work and respect her as an artist.

-Bonnie Estes

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